Psychology students at Huddersfield New College enjoyed an inspiring day with Dr Guy Sutton, the Director and Founder of Medical Biology Interactive and an Honorary Consultant Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham Medical School. 

Dr Sutton's primary areas of interest are the genetics of neurodevelopment and neuropathology and the interactive nature of genetic, biological and behavioural factors in chronic disease processes. He visited Huddersfield New College to deliver a fast-paced lecture to help students explore key areas related to their studies including brain anatomy, how drugs and other factors can affect brain function and behaviour and undertook a live dissection of a sheep’s brain to bring the topic to life. 

Students heard more about the fascinating story of a young girl who had half a brain taken away during surgery and could walk ten days later due to neuroplasticity – the other half of her brain compensated for the removed hemisphere. Students explored some popular myths and theories such as the idea that we are ‘right or left brained’ and debated about whether certain behaviours are preset by our genetics. 

A live dissection of a sheep’s brain gave students the chance to literally see inside the structure of a brain and explore how the meninges protect the hemispheres underneath. A key part of the day looked at how damage to the brain can result in behavioural changes. Dr Sutton demonstrated a range of healthy brain scans, and compared these to those of convicted felons who had brain damage. Students saw how even the smallest amount of excess pressure on a brain – such as from a small tumour – can cause dramatic behavioural changes. 

Tracey Holland, Teacher of Psychology comments: “Our students were engrossed in Dr Sutton’s lecture which was both fascinating and insightful. Psychology is all about the study of human behaviour, and his session on the brain helped students to understand more about how the brain can determine behaviours that an individual cannot control, raising some interesting ethical questions about the Law and punishment. It also helped to shatter some of the misconceptions around being naturally right or left brained and stretched and challenged the knowledge and views of our students. This fascinating lecture has developed their understanding of human behaviour, and some of the scientific factors that can affect this. Feedback from our students has been outstanding, and I would like to thank Dr Sutton for joining us.”

Interested in studying A Level Psychology? Applications close on Friday 14th February 2020. Click here to apply now. 

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